Government shrugs off foreign real estate fallout

Construction industry disruption expected as new tax threatens deals, says Finance Minister Mike de Jong

Townhouses under construction in Metro Vancouver.

Premier Christy Clark and her ministers aren’t concerned about a backlash or downturn in B.C.’s hot urban real estate market from their sudden decision to impose a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman said Wednesday the development industry was “taken aback and a bit grumpy” after Premier Christy Clark announced Monday that the new tax takes effect Aug. 2.

Clark confirmed Wednesday that there would be no exemptions to the new tax for real estate sales that were signed but not registered before the deadline. That includes pre-sold condos that were purchased before construction, if they are going to buyers who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong said tax changes are generally done on short notice, and the government expected there would be some cancelled sales as a result. But the purpose of the tax was to discourage foreign sales and replace them with sales to B.C. residents, he said.

“Part of it relates to the fact that properties going on the market are being scooped up so quickly.” de Jong said. “This disruption, this change is taking place in a market where there is incredibly strong domestic demand.”

The government intends to put the revenue from the foreign buyer tax into a housing affordability fund, but Coleman said there will be no return to government directly building social housing projects.

New initiatives will be announced in September, with incentives for builders to create more rental housing. The province already provides rent subsidies to 20,000 families to keep them in market housing, and that approach has better results than concentrating low-income people in government housing, Coleman said.

 

Just Posted

Stabbing at Surrey banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

Slam poetry creates catharsis for North Delta youth

Burnsview Secondary team gearing up for poetry festival and competition in April

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read